The COVID-19 pandemic prompted multiple businesses across the country to close in an effort to keep people healthy. As a way to promote the need to reopen these small businesses, members of the Lubbock community will take part in a peaceful protest Saturday.
The Rolling Protest for Lubbock Small Businesses will consist of Lubbock residents driving around parts of the city as a way to advocate for the reopening of small businesses.
The protest, which will be peaceful and lawful, will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Clapp Park, according to the protest's Facebook event page. More information regarding the route of the protest can be found on the Facebook page.
It is asked that participants arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. and start lining up behind the lead car, which will be situated at the stop sign at 40th Street and University Avenue, according to the Facebook page. Participants should have their vehicle's headlights on for the protest and should take their time when driving, even if they lag behind.
Cars need to stay as close together as possible, according to the Facebook page. The intersections of the route will be blocked by the Lubbock Police Department as the protest continues, so if one lags behind, he or she should try to catch up safely.
Participants should not exit their vehicle, and those who are at higher risk of COVID-19 should not attend, according to the Facebook page. If a person needs to exit their vehicle, they need practice social distancing and wear a face mask.
Paul McArthur, spokesmen for the protest, said small businesses are suffering during this pandemic. Other businesses that sell essential items still are able to sell their non-essential items, while small businesses remain closed.
"There's a ton of small businesses here in Lubbock that can use that money.
"My issue is Walmart's open. I have no issue with Walmart. They're doing the best they can with safety measures, but if you go inside, it's a petri dish.
"There are people everywhere, and you can go inside and buy a television, a fishing pole, toys, jewelry...those same products can be sold in Lubbock small businesses, and frankly, with better safety measures.
"We talk a lot about the curve for coronavirus. Well there's a curve in my mind as well. What does that curve look like for small businesses to recover?
"If we open the doors tomorrow, we're not going to have the income we had before, we'll maybe have 5 percent, how long does that take to recover and get back to 100 percent? That's the curve I worry about," McArthur said.
The protest is a way to support small businesses and to send a message to Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope and the Lubbock City Council about reopening small businesses amid the pandemic, McArthur said. The protest was not put together to go against Pope.
"Small businesses can't hang on much longer. What I'm asking is not small businesses to break the rules. But give us a fighting chance.
"Reasonable guidelines we'll follow, we're not rule breakers. I think Amarillo has rules like x number of people in the stores, provide hand sanitizer, social distancing, that sort of thing. Small businesses are smart, we're innovative, we can do those things," McArthur said.
For questions regarding the protest, one can call McArthur at 806-831-7366.